It’s the day after Comey’s firing, and Washington is shook


Wednesday, May 10, 2017
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway holds up a copy of the firing letter that President Donald Trump sent to FBI Director James Corey during an interview she had Wednesday with CNN from the White House. Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images
Washington’s Shook: The fallout from FBI director’s firing

Meanwhile a Bunny: Pence bunny Marlon Bundo makes White House debut

Katy Perry Responds: Singer posts on Instagram: “CNN don’t judge a book by its cover”

Kate Bennett

What the White House Is Talking About:
Heading into bunker mode following the firing by President Donald Trump of FBI Director James Comey. Also, Trump will pop in on Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the White House.

What the White House Press Corps Is Talking About:
COMEY, RUSSIA, COMEY, ROSENSTEIN, NIXON, COMEY, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP. And finding new angles for all. 

The Ticktock: 
CNN’s Kevin Liptak put together this timeline of how it all went down, from the odd personal delivery of Trump’s dismissal letter to FBI headquarters to Comey’s liftoff in the bureau’s private G5 from Los Angeles. 

This Is a Big Deal, Too: 
This exclusive about prosecutors serving subpoenas to associates of former national security adviser Michael Flynn. The Russia investigation continues. 

A Bunny Steals Hearts:
As all of this Comey stuff was breaking around 5 p.m. Tuesday, CNN’s Betsy Klein was furiously working on a story with other news, about Marlon Bundo, the Pence family rabbit. Granted, her piece was pushed back because, well, because the President of the United States up and fired the FBI director who was investigating his campaign, but here it is. It’s a rad story, and a star is born — but as this picture shows, the star is not a fan of loud noises, and his one eyeball says so. Later, on his personal Instagram page, Marlon thanked CNN for the story. So 2017, amirite? 

Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Kid Tries to Rip VP Seal Off Podium:
This is actually my favorite part of Tuesday’s military families appreciation event at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building; no offense, bunny. The pool reporter described the kid chaos thus:

The picture says it all — Vice President Mike Pence’s face. 
Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Trump Tees Off on Richard Blumenthal: 
The President tweeted some stuff about the Comey news this morning, but he saved his harshest criticism for Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, referring to an old scandal back when the senator admitted to misrepresenting his military service in Vietnam. 

Credit: @RealDonaldTrump/Twitter

Biden Son Scandal Means There’s a House for Sale: 
After news broke months ago about the love life of Hunter Biden, Joe Biden’s son, who left his marriage to be in a relationship with his dead brother’s wife, a messy divorce ensued. Acquaintances tell me Hunter Biden has all but moved full time to Wilmington, Delaware, to be with Hallie Biden, Beau Biden’s widow, and her two young children, leaving his estranged wife, Kathleen, with the couple’s northwest Washington house. Now, the Bidens’ divorce is final, and the home is up for sale for $1.85 million. Here’s the listing on the six-bedroom, six-bathroom Colonial, if you’re interested. 

Credit: MRIS 2017/zillow.com

Dress Like the First Daughter:
Ivanka Trump was at the same event as the Pence bunny Tuesday, and she gave a few remarks at the podium, thanking military members and their families for their service and sacrifice. She was wearing this J. Crew polka dot dress, her second summery look from the brand in a week. BTW, the dress just went on sale for $129.99

Credit, from left, Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images; jcrew.com

Hunter Schwarz

What Washington Is Talking About:
James Comey’s firing. It hit Washington like a political earthquake, a where-were-you-when-you-found-out moment, and everyone in town is bracing for the aftershocks.

What America Is Talking About:
Comey’s firing. It was the top story on Google Trends this morning, while “Dance Moms” star Abby Lee Miller, who was sentenced to a year in prison, was No. 7. (She’s supposed to get out in 2018, and everyone’s gonna be like, “Wait, ‘Dance Mom’ went to jail? I missed that.”)

Chaos on Capitol Hill:
Some of the first people to find out about Comey’s firing were Senate Judiciary Committee members Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, and Dianne Feinstein, D-California, who each said they received calls from the President himself.

But elsewhere on the Hill, senators were blindsided. According to our Phil Mattingly and Ted Barrett, some found out the news via phone alerts or from reporters. “Basically, the parliamentarian told me,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, told reporters. “I don’t have any initial reaction because I don’t have any information.” The House is currently on recess, with some members out of the country and others holding town hall meetings Tuesday night in their districts. “This is a shitshow,” one Repub aide texted them.

Makeshift Briefing:
Meanwhile, back at the White House, press secretary Sean Spicer called an impromptu media availability outside in the dark. Here’s a shot from our Jeff Zeleny:

Credit: @jeffzeleny/Twitter

L.A. Covered Comey in the Most L.A. Way:
Comey was in Los Angeles at the FBI’s field office when the news broke, and he found out when he saw it on TV while talking to agents. He was scheduled to speak at a recruiting event Tuesday night at a theater on Sunset Boulevard, but that was canceled, and Fox 11 Los Angeles got chopper footage of his motorcade en route to LAX (SO L.A., RIGHT?!).

Credit: Fox 11 Los Angeles/Facebook

After he arrived at the airport, Comey shook the hands of law enforcement who escorted him and boarded a private plane. (He’s the super-tall one who just got out of the passenger side of the first black SUV in the photo below.)

Credit: Fox 11 Los Angeles/Facebook

Trump’s Reason for Firing Comey Seems … ?:
Trump said in his letter to Comey he was being fired on recommendations from the attorney general and deputy attorney general. But then you read Deputy Attorney General’s Rod Rosenstein’s memo (read it yourself here on pages 4-6), and it’s mostly criticism of Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation, which Trump previously praised. (“It took guts for Director Comey to make the move that he made in light of the kind of opposition he had where they’re trying to protect her from criminal prosecution,” Trump said in October.) Wait, what?

What Clinton Said About It:
Nothing … yet. But members of her campaign have weighed in, and her former running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine, tweeted Tuesday, “Comey firing part of a growing pattern by White House to cover-up the truth.”

Katy Perry Responds to COVER/LINE:
In Tuesday’s issue, I wrote about seven ways Katy Perry is the Hillary Clinton of pop. She responded on Instagram, captioning this photo of her wearing a hat that reads “Start me up” and reading a book about Clinton, “@CNN don’t judge a book by it’s (sic) cover” with the emoji of the Zodiac symbol for Scorpio ♏, which I learned is both hers and Clinton’s sign. (Now I can update my list to eight ways!!) 

Credit: @katyperry/Instagram

The book she’s reading is “The Destruction of Hillary Clinton” by Susan Bordo. Here’s part of the book’s blurb on Amazon: “Gossip is easy. Get to the deeper truth, with this in-depth look at the political forces and media culture that vilified and ultimately brought down Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential campaign.”

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COVER/LINE is where politics meets pop culture. From CNN’s Hunter Schwarz and Kate Bennett, this daily newsletter is the must-read lunch date in Washington and beyond.
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